I hope things are going well for you this chilly morning.
I have not abandoned this blog; I have been working on a ton of projects recently. While I don’t mean the literal 1,000 lbs that “a ton” implies, it seems awfully close to it at times.
I have not been working on the novel for a few months now. This is mostly due to my intensely judgmental views of my own work. I tend to write a chapter, then rip it apart, then rewrite the same chapter and repeat. Pretty easy to fall into a depressing malaise if you keep that up for long. I intend to break this malaise starting today. Time to move that plot along with a barbaric YAWP! (Internet high five if you got the reference!)
Yesterday I felt stupid. I did not feel stupid for any sane, rational or even logical reason. I felt stupid because I had created a patreon for one of my projects. See, I decided that the low traffic on the website of said month-old project meant that it didn’t deserve a patreon, or some nonsense like that.
(rant: I’m not mentioning which project, patreon links, etc. because I am really trying not to beat people over the head with this. This is a journal designed to communicate with the world, not advertise. /end rant)
It took a friend pointing out the logic fail inherent in this thought pattern before I could see it clearly. She said something along the lines of “Well if you don’t put it out there, no one can decide if they like it or not…”. I am butchering her words (sorry dear!), but the idea is there. It is at this point that I realized this was my self doubt rearing its multifaceted head. My brain immediately travelled in two different directions with this newfound knowledge:
The path of art doubt:
I have always doubted that my art is “good enough”. Always. It’s like the awful feeling that stress testers get right before an exam, except it revolves around your child..er, I mean art. (Yes, my arts are my children.) Don’t ask me who could deem my art worthy. As far as I know there is no benevolent art deity who can give my art the high holy seal of art approval. Even as I sit writing this I have to fight not to give it up as a bad job.
Yet fight I do. I MUST create art. My writing, my drawings, my fashions, my crafts, my single attempt at a floral arrangement, they all come from a need to create. It is this need that keeps me pushing despite the glacier of self doubt that I keep bumping into. I think in some ways all this critical thinking helps the art be better than it might otherwise be, but in other ways it can choke the life out of the thing.
All things in balance.
The path of people doubt:
At the time of writing I have a total of 9 twitter followers. I think there are animals on twitter with higher numbers okay. I really am not good at being social in real life, so it comes as no great shock that I’m not very good at it online. This number has risen to as many as 15 before, but those were the people who click follow so you’ll follow them back. I do NOT do this. I in fact am vehemently against this. To me this defeats the point of twitter, social media etc: connecting with what you actually CONNECT with. If you want to boost your numbers just to boost your numbers, don’t waste your time with me. I don’t play that game. I follow people or companies (or animals) that I genuinely find interesting, or inspiring, or a hundred other ing words.
This disturbing “numbers are all” trend is the same across instagram, tumblr, facebook, google+ and any other social media. This is why spam accounts have become an epidemic on such platforms. When you take the element of connection out of anything with the word social in it, you kill it. What was organic and alive and evolving has become an empty vacuous thing that nobody recognizes anymore.
All of the lovely artists (By artist, I mean anybody who creates anything.) making it and connecting with their fans and creating art is WONDERFUL. I love this stuff. I love that I am able to keep up day to day with people who inspire me, awe me or are just freaking epic. Sadly, it also makes the critic in me compare my own serious lack of connection with those who are killing it. It does not make me jealous that they are successful, it makes me criticize everything I have ever made. Silly right? Recently, I make sure to remind myself that at one point in time everyone who has ever made it (however they, you or anyone else defines “making it”) was an unknown person swimming in the sea of humanity. They failed, they fought, they made art and eventually, after much effort, it worked out.
Most importantly, as a lovely little fish so famously said, they kept swimming.
So keep swimming!
Until next time, dear readers.
Thanks for reading! <(~_~)>
PS – Also, Goth Gal is a comic that I have been creating for a while in my spare time, but it has only recently been released to the internet. If you like what you see here, please go check her out at gothgal.net
PPS – Here is an inspirational wallpaper I made a little while ago to inspire more writing (click the image to see the large version):